Building upon an existing, multi-year cooperation agreement that began in 2019, Pfizer Inc. recently invested $20 million in CytoReason, an Israeli startup cofounded by Technion Professor Shai Shen-Orr. The new agreement gives Pfizer the option to license CytoReason’s artificial intelligence (AI) led platform for drug development as well as fund additional research projects for the company. The partnership’s value is estimated to grow to $110 million by 2027.
CytoReason’s technology makes data-driven decisions on drug development quickly and cost effectively by collecting data from pharmaceutical companies to simulate human disease and then uses their AI-led platform to predict which patients may respond best to new treatments. The platform reduces development costs and the need for animal testing while increasing the likelihood of drug approval.
Since the start of the partnership, Pfizer has used CytoReason’s technology to better understand the immune system for more than 20 different diseases. Under the new agreement, Pfizer will further scale their use of the technology to help drive future R&D as they continue to use AI to more effectively determine treatment options.
The agreement was signed on the Technion’s Haifa, Israel campus during a visit by a Pfizer delegation headed by Chairman and CEO Dr. Albert Bourla. The delegation met with Technion President, Professor Uri Sivan, Technion Executive Vice President for Research, Professor Jacob (Koby) Rubinstein, and Technion Executive Vice President and Director-General, Professor Boaz Golany. They also spoke with Technion researchers working on AI-driven human health initiatives, including CytoReason Co-founder, Professor Shai Shen-Orr.